Technology A-Z
The Internet
Tech Hardware
Tech Software
Video Games
Protecting Your Children
Getting Help
The Online Mom Network

Learn about The Online Mom Network
Join The Online Mom Network
How Do I Become An Online Mom?

The Online Mom provides internet technology advice and information to help parents protect their kids, encourage responsible behavior and safely harness the power of technology in the new digital world. Social networking, photo sharing, video games, IM & texting, internet security, cyberbullying, educational resources, the latest on tech hardware, gadgets and software for kids 3-8, tweens and teens, and more.

Why you should never friend your child on Facebook

By Jennifer Fink

Is your son or daughter on Facebook? Have you Friended them yet?

Back in the day -- you know, when it took 5 people to lift up a television -- parents could keep tabs on their kids by picking up the phone. If a boyfriend or girlfriend called you, they had to dial your home number and deal with 20 questions from dear old dad. But today, kids can reach each other directly, through a quick cell call or a wall post on Facebook.

So many parents are using Facebook to keep tabs on their kids. But is Friending your son or daughter a good way to stay informed? To know who they're hanging out with and what they're doing? While it seems like a logical move, it could do way more harm than good. Here's why:

1. Kids need freedom to vent

Have you seen the YouTube video of Tommy Jordan shooting his teenage daughter's laptop with a .45? His act was inspired by a post he found on his daughter's Facebook page. While the post clearly upset her father, the post itself -- which Jordan reads aloud in his video -- sounds like pretty standard teenage angst to me. The girl moans about her chores and complains about her parents. Who hasn't done that?

If Jordan hadn't Friended his daughter, he likely never would have seen her post -- and I think that's OK. Kids just need time and space to vent. What they have to say may be hurtful to you, so why go looking for it?

2. Kids are clever…almost to a fault

Many parents Friend their children to keep tabs on their kids' activity. But you know what? If your teen really wants to drink alcohol or plan parties, he or she will find a way to do it, no matter how intense your supervision. Some kids set up sham Facebook pages where they interact cleanly with their friends and parents, while maintaining other accounts for their true social activity. Most kids are pretty good at figuring out how to block their parents from seeing certain content, too, which can make Friending them a fruitless exercise.

3. Kids need parents…not spies

The impulse to monitor your kids' activities and to get to know their friends is a good one, but Friending your son or daughter on Facebook isn't the best way to do it. If you want to know what's going on with your child, spend time with her in the real world. Plan occasional mom/son or daddy/daughter outings. Go out to breakfast. Have family dinners. Give them trigonometry help or volunteer to help with their extracurricular activities. Invite their friends over to your home. Host sleepovers. Talk to other parents. Friending your kid on Facebook might seem like responsible parenting, but real parenting is done in real time.

Jennifer L.W. Fink is a freelance writer and mother of four boys. She loves to write about boys, parenting and education and is frequently featured at an online schooling blog for OnlineSchools.com.

Thank you for submitting your comment. Your comment will appear on the site after it has been reviewed by site moderators!
Post a Comment:
Comments (max 500 characters):

Permalink | Print | Email

Share this article!
Partner with Online Mom Media
Online Mom Media specializes in building powerful communities of influencers! [read on]
Special Twitter Event
Join @theonlinemom this Thursday at 9pm ET as we introduce Thrively, a fun and interactive family web site! #Thrively
[read on]
Join the BUZZ!
Join @theonlinemom and friends this Friday at 12 noon PT as we look at Simplifying Mobile Tech. Great prizes! #VZWBuzz [read on]
The Online Mom Blog
Connecting Your Mobile Lifestyle
[read on]
Cómo encontrar en línea las mejores ofertas
Visite La Online Mom en Español! [read on]
Stacey Ross on The Online Mom
Catch up on the digital lifestyle with Stacey Ross!
[read on]
PlayStation 4 vs. Xbox One: Parental Controls
Which of the new gaming consoles offers better parental supervision? [read on]
How To Make the Most of Those Daily Deals
Take a closer look at those daily deals to make sure you're getting a bargain!
[read on]
Watch Out! Your Wristband Is Tracking You…
New ways to monitor two of the most important elements that factor into our overall health: exercise and sleep [read on]
How To Beat Spam with Disposable E-Mail Addresses
There's an alternative to giving out your online information (or turning into a digital recluse): the disposable e-mail!
[read on]
Managing Your Online Reputation
There are some simple steps we can take to safeguard our online reputations [read on]
7 Apps for Finding Stuff Online
Loking to buy and sell online? Your smartphone can help!
[read on]
How to Manage Your Cell Phone Bill
Don't be overwhelmed by that cell phone bill. We offer 7 tips that can help [read on]
7 Social Networking Tips for Graduates
About to graduate? It's time to clean up those social networking accounts!
[read on]
The Best Apps for Staying in Shape
10 great apps for turning your smartphone or tablet into your workout buddy! [read on]
7 Steps to Smartphone Safety
Buying that first smartphone for your child? Make safety a top priority!
[read on]
10 Essential Apps for the Busy Mom
Turn your smartphone into your very own personal assistant! [read on]
Tweens and Facebook:
Do you think children under the age of 13 should be allowed on Facebook?

Not Sure

© 2011 the online mom, all rights reserved | site map ABOUT     MEET THE TEAM     CONTACT US     ADVERTISE     PRESS     PRIVACY     LEGAL
As you may have guessed, it is made of titanium and some stainless steel¡ªthe case is titanium and the rolex replica sale is stainless steel. The dial is brown, the watch hands are silver-toned, and there is a date window at the four o¡¯clock position. The sapphire case protects the breitling replica sale from water damage up to 30 meters. Synergy means cooperative action. This replica watches uk combines the best of the old and the new to deliver something uniquely modern. All of the classic elements are there. It has the sleek and stylish dial of the replica watches uk, the concave dot at the 12 o¡¯clock hour, and the Swiss quartz movement. But the Sapphire Synergy has something few breitling replica sale offer, a rubber wristband. Why rubber? Well, it¡¯s not a sport rolex replica sale, so using it outdoors is out of the question. But the informal band gives it a more casual look and feel, which can be quite appealing to the modern male.